515 in hospital in Beijing rail collision as heavy snow hits Chinese capital

The accident occurred on Thursday evening in the mountainous west on an above-ground portion of the sprawling subway system’s Changping line

By AP

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Photo: AP
Photo: AP

Published: Fri 15 Dec 2023, 4:33 PM

Last updated: Fri 15 Dec 2023, 4:37 PM

Two subway trains collided in heavy snow in Beijing, sending 515 people to the hospital, including 102 with broken bones, authorities said on Friday.

The accident occurred on Thursday evening in Beijing’s mountainous west on an above-ground portion of the sprawling subway system’s Changping line.

Slippery tracks prompted automatic braking on the leading train. A train following from behind was on a descending section and went into a skid and was unable to brake in time, the city transport authority said in a statement on Friday on its social media account.

Emergency medical personnel, police and transport authorities responded, and all passengers were evacuated by about 11pm local time, it said. Twenty-five passengers were under observation and 67 remained hospitalised on Friday morning, the authority said.

Unusually heavy snow that began falling on Wednesday has prompted the suspension of some train operations and school closures.

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Alerts remain in place for icy roads, extreme cold and further snowfall. Temperatures were due to fall to minus 11 degrees Celsius (12 degrees Fahrenheit) overnight.

No deaths have been reported from the winter storms that have struck a wide swath of northern China. Beijing's winters tend to be bitterly cold, but heavy snowfall is rare.

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